As well as setting a new unofficial lap record in the Catalunya IRTA test yesterday, Loris Capirossi was also able to beat the fastest ever top speed recorded by a GP bike, a record he'd set just one day before.

On Saturday, the Italian accelerated up to a phenomenal 325.9kmh/202.5mph, beating the previous best of 324.5kmh/ 201.6mph, recorded on Mugello's faster straight by Honda RCV rider Tohru Ukawa, during last year's Italian GP.

However, yesterday 'Capirex' improved his record even further as he tripped the speed trap at an amazing 328.2kmh/203.9mph!

Despite the mood of euphoria in the Ducati Marlboro Team pit, technical director Corrado Cecchinelli was keen to focus on the task ahead.

"Now we have the highest top speed and the best lap time!" beamed Cecchinelli, before warning: "But you have to remember - you only get points for races! That was an incredible lap from Loris - with the bike in race set-up with an average fuel load and the same tyres as all the other Michelin riders. We let him focus on riding today, rather than set-up, so he could get comfortable for the timed session."

"We weren't really expecting this so soon!" smiled Ducati Corse managing director Claudio Domenicali, referring to the teams overall performance. "And while we don't anticipate being so competitive, so soon at every circuit, this does prove that Ducati has the capability to start a new project from scratch and reach a high level very quickly - all our engineers should be very proud."

Traditionally, Honda have been the horsepower masters of GP racing, and it won't be lost on HRC that they've been beaten on top speed by a bike with one less cylinder...